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Warriors unite through community networks

  • Published
  • By Bianca Soto
  • Air Force Wounded Warrior Program

The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program continues to lead the way in nurturing an environment of connectedness with warriors, caregivers and their families. AFW2 community programs provide support resources to ensure warriors and their families stay connected with each other and receive aid throughout the journey.  

 

AFW2 community programs connect warriors to local events, activities and resources within the 46,000 veteran service organizations located nationwide. The team utilizes social media platforms to connect with veteran service organizations and obtain vital information, which they streamline and share with warriors and their families.

 

“We create a monthly calendar broken down into the six AFW2 care management regions and publish a quarterly newsletter to highlight specific events and organizations,” said Bobby Puckett, AFW2 community programs manager. “We provide personal assistance locating resources on a case-by-case basis, but the most efficient way to share information from these organizations is through the AFW2 community programs Facebook page.”

 

The community programs team works to ensure warriors and their families never feel isolated, particularly during times of moving, retirement or transitioning to the civilian world. Their newest initiative, Warrior and Family Social Connections, allows warriors to stay connected with each other in their local area and engage in community-based events. The goal is to build national local communities amongst warriors and their families.

 

“I’ve definitely enjoyed having that sense of community and ability to connect with other local warriors and getting out and doing fun stuff,” said retired Capt. Rob Hufford, AFW2 warrior. “I’ve seen it help me in my recovery and I know it’s helped others in theirs. We’ve even expanded our local WAFSC with warriors from other service branches and shared social experiences with them.”

 

Life may look different now, but that has not hindered the ongoing efforts of the community programs team to continue serving warriors and their families during this time. The team stays readily available to assist and keep warriors informed on current events happening in their community.

 

“Many organizations have created programs to help warriors and their families get through these times, and we share a lot of information about these new programs,” Bobby said. “It is equally important to know which organizations, in which state, are still doing events and which have been cancelled. We place a significant amount of time researching everything pertaining to the pandemic situation.”

 

Community programs also assists warriors who may be seeking adaptive sports equipment to further their recovery or use to participate in virtual sport competitions. The team collaborates with the Department of Veterans Affairs and non-profit organizations that offer grants for equipment based on eligibility requirements, such as a medical clearance or documentation supporting the need for equipment.


For more information about community programs, email AFPC.DPFW.AFW2CommunityPrgm@us.af and connect with resources today! Tune in to the virtual events taking place on the AFW2 Facebook page and come interact with our warriors and staff members. To refer an Airman, or learn more about the AFW2 Program, visit www.woundedwarrior.af.mil for additional information and resources.